Armenian-Canadian photographer Yousuf Karsh (1908–2002) is celebrated for photographing the most influential people of the Twentieth Century. With a wide range of subjects such as Winston Churchill, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemmingway, Muhammad Ali, Andy Warhol, Albert Camus, Alfred Hitchcock, Elizabeth Taylor, Jacques Cousteau, and Albert Einstein, Karsh considered the face as the most interesting and the greatest challenge to photograph. He photographed more than 17,000 heroes of our time and over 150,000 negatives in six decades.
Considered a master of studio lighting, Karsh became fascinated with theater techniques. By manipulating light, the artist enjoyed having a command of mood and expression which allowed him to create a new world of interpretation. With his fascination to record the intrinsic nature behind the facade of the individual, Karsh unveiled through the lens the moment he captured the spirit and innate truth of his subjects, and forever transformed portraiture.
Image: Muhammad Ali, 1970, gelatin silver print, ©Estate of Yousuf Karsh